Europes final juvenile listed race of 2021 the Criterium Di Pisa and the famous Coppa Del Mare in reopened Livorno are the highlights of an excellent weekend’s racing in Italy. We begin with yet another stallion arriving in Italy to commence duties in 2022. Adaay will be standing at Allevamento Besnate’s second stud in Pierantonio near Perugia for a fee of €4,500. Italian breeders in the year ahead will have their biggest choice of stallions for decades as the foal numbers finally begin to rise. If the Italian state got their act together with the sector and the EPC were to offer some encouragemnet to the professionals operating in the field one could see the beginning of the return to if not the glory days something like the early years of the century. As we will see later in the article whilst Rome burns the competitors are moving in.
One of the real positives of 2021 has been the return of racing to the Tuscan seaside city of Livorno a bastion of the sport. The Coppa Del Mare traditionally run on a sultry summer night near midnight attracted huge crowds until Caprilli closed its doors in 2016. Although not run in summer the Coppa will attract a big crowd to Livorno on Saturday before returning to its rightful date in 2022. A field of ten will go to post on Saturday for the seventy sixth version over the 2250 metres (11.25 furlongs) five Irish breds among them. Favourite will likely be Alduino Botti’s locally bred Bulldozer a lightly raced three year old well drawn in stall one. The son of Desert Prince who will be ridden by Dario Vargiu was a good second in Varese in October after a long absence. Botti will also be represented by Fuoroserie ridden Tore Sulas and Double West with Sergio Urru.The last named bred by the Hillman/O Callaghan partnership carries top weight and last time out was a good fifth in the Premio Carlo Porta(HPA) at San Siro. At the weights Conquering Eagle has to be respected especially as he is trained by Marco Gasparini but the Lope De Vega colt bred by Ballygallon Stud is still a maiden after sixteen starts despite being placed in a multitude of high class handicaps. Lexington Quest bred by Manister House and bottom weight Mesocco bred by the man of the moment in Italy Aidan Sexton both have chances.The off is 15,20 on Saturday.
San Rossore in Pisa has a top class meeting on Sunday featuring the last listed two year old race in Europe in 2021,two of the best handicaps of the year and an Arab listed race.
The fifty second Criterium Di Pisa (LR €38,500 1500 metres 13.45) has attracted a field of twelve (half Irish bred) with challengers from France and Hungary as well as Italy. Alduino Botti will have two beatifully bred challengers Vincere Insieme (Exceed and Excel-Loritania) and Sunny River (No Nay Never-Ars Nova) both winners of two of their three starts. Vincere Insiemi Won his maiden over 1500 metres before winning the Premio Fiuggi with three lenghts to spare on Alsini before finishing fourth in the Gran Criterium. Sunny River only fourth on his debut won his maiden in Rome before winning the Premio Sette Colli one of the years best nurseries. Lord Sakay (Holy Roman Emperor bred by Macha Bloodstock in Kildare) won on his debut before finishing second to Que Tempesta in the Premio Dormelleto. Bellport trained in France by Tim Donworth and bred and owned by Anita Wigan was a winner at Epsom over seven furlongs and previously a close third to the subsequent Flying Childers(G2) winner at Bath whilst with Andrew Balding. Ms Wigan is no stranger to big days in Italy as she bred Leadership winner of the Gran Premio Di Milano(G1) in 2003.Magnas Miska from Hungary is an interesting challenger a sister to Botti’s Happiness Therapy bred by Anna Giunta she is the unknown quantity in the race. Avengers Destiny, Fighting King Twin Secret and the already mentioned Alsini are others with chances.
The Premio Andred (HPA €31,900 1600 metres 3yo f 12.45) is a very high quality race almost of listed class of which Italy does not have enough. Team Botti is throwing the kitchen sink at the race with Santa Rita and Sugar Beat both listed winners as well as Lyrical and Brisighella a rapidly improving filly who has won three on the bounce.Vargiu on Santa Rita and Sulas on Sugar Beat suggest these are the two to beat but Sergio Urru on Lyrical cannot be ruled out nor can the Harzand filly bred by Irish Thoroughbred Capital who carries 59 kgs and Niccola Pinna on board. Thunder Panther(bred by R Boland and J Harley) Sadalsuud (bred by Stratford Place Stud) and Moorland Spirit(Bred by RG and TE Levin) the first two in the Premio San Siro must also be taken into account.
The Premio Rossenberg (HPB €24,800 1600m) 14.55 is a super competitive affair with twenty runners no less than twelve bred in Ireland.Top weight Deadline(62 kgs) winner of the group 3 Premio Cumani in September will carry plenty of support but on the other side of the scale is City Of Stars trained by Marco Gasparini and with only 51 kgs.The Lilbourne Lad gelding bred by Brian and Ann Marie Kennedy in County Down is a battle hardened eight year old winner of thirteen races including four handicap principale’s.Air Bud with two good wins, the Mountain View Stud bred I Know Why a winner in Naples, the Edgeridge ltd/Glenvale stud bred Shikami a winner in Pisa and the Yeomanstown bred Silver Mission along with Stella Di Mantova will all have chancess
Whilst the Italian goverment does nothing and the European pattern committee stupidly downgrades races making a bad situation worse the promotors of Arab purebreds and mixed Arab and Thoroughbred racing gets ever stronger in Italy. The Tower Of Pisa cup for purebred Arab horses is one of a number of listed and group races run in the country in 2022.The promotors see their opportunity and the hardpressed Italian trainers including even the likes of Endo Botti are availing of whatever prizemoney comes their way. Sunday’s race is at 14,20 and carries a prizefund of 30,800 euro over 1750 metres. The losers include Irish and other international breeders whilst Arab, Anglo Arab and Trotting continue to grow.
Monday in Naples features the Premio Super Classifica Show for debutantes over 1400 metres.There are a number of interesting runners but Lovely Time a filly trained by Endo Botti stands out.She is a Gleneagles out of Mooney Ridge a sister to Sea Of Class and three other Oaks winners.The Indian Ridge mare is already dam of Mooney Love (Australia) placed in this years Gran Premio Del Jockey Club and Ranger In Paradise ( Holy Roman Emperor) a six time winner including the Premio Federico Regoli(HPC) My Chef (Ardad – Lovellian) from Sebastiano Guerrieri’s stable is a sister to multiple winners including Verse Of Love nine times a winner at this trip. Villacidro also on Monday features the Premio ANAG over 1800 metres for juveniles.The two most likely candidates are Thor De Sa Matta (Galileo Gold bred by Joseph Reid) a dual winner but unplaced behind Baghed in the Rumon and Gaduli De L’Alguer (Highland Reel bred by Maria Marron).Highland Reel is just behind El Kabeir and Gleneasgles in the race to be the leading sire of Juveniles.Its the calm before the storm in Siracusa on Saturday as the Sicilian track gets ready for its big day on Wednesday December 8. Nevertheless the Mehmas colt Apollo Gleam bred by Tally Ho hitherto disappointing might have enough to win the Premio Cracovia. The dam Shallow Lake is a sister to the Albany Stakes winner Newfangled.The J Donworth bred Dizzy Glory(Cotai Glory) might give him most to do.
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VIDEO: Adaay new stallion at Allevamento Besnate